Our two days of acting like giant sponges on the Gulf Coast of Florida was up. The guys and I awoke from our tents to find there was still a drizzle of rain. Just enough rain to have ourselves and our belongings soaked by the time we were ready to leave. We didn’t care. Just 215 miles or so from our little plot of island in Pensacola, Florida, lies a little town called New Orleans. We were roughly 4 hours from Bourbon Street and our “haunted” hotel rooms. I hope ghosts like hot showers.
The rain subsided just as we crossed over the 4 mile bridge that allows us to ride from island to mainland. Cool, now we have all day to dry out. The miles were fast but boring as the only way to get there in any expedient time was on the stretch of black-top called the highway. Lord almighty, I hate the highway.
The road was not crowded thoughand didnt run through too many big cities. We were able to maintain an steady 80 mph pretty much the whole way. The highlights would have to be the huge bridges over water on I-10. There was a bridge near Mobile Alabama that had to be at least 8 miles long that ran dead into the George Wallace Tunnel. The tunnel runs about 40 feet beneath the Mobile River and is just over half a mile long. Oh, and a Harley sounds obnoxiously wonderful roaring through it!
The other bridge is of course, the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the Longest Continuous Bridge Over Water. The longest portion of the bridge is just a hair under 24 miles long. It was awesome being surrounded by nothing but water for such a long span of time.
Just outside of New Orleans, we stopped to activate the GPS in order to get us to the hotel. As soon as I made the decision to stop, I couldn’t find an off ramp to save my life! Mile after mile eased on and I pulled off at the first ramp I could find. Dead end. The only things at the end of this off ramp were; a small road off to the side that led to Lord knows where, a pile of old tires next to the woods and a half ton of used bullet shells right where we stopped. We were near New Orleans!!!
When we arrived at the over 200 year old hotel called the Andrew Jackson (pictured in the feature photo at the top of the post), we were greeted by Mrs. Cheryl. She set us up with our rooms and called the valet. The valet led us through the twists and turns of the randomly dilapidated/randomly refurbished buildings. He had led us to the locked and gated parking lot where our bikes would rest for the next two days. Gated and locked were the keys elements here and I didn’t worry much about my bike after I put on the fork lock, brake rotor lock and pulled my plug wires…
Let the fun begin!
The first trouble we go in was after holding this stupid sign. The dudes the sign belonged to demanded a tip for letting us hold the sign that they offered to us. I don’t do demands. While Myles explained that to those fools, a crowd stated to form. Another joker who obviously doesn’t know me very well, walked up to about two inches away from me and started asking about my boots. “Nice boots. Bet I know where you got ’em. Bet I can tell you who your daddy is. If I tell you, will you be honest?” To which I responded. “No, I’m a damn liar but, I’ll tell you the truth about what will happen if you don’t step away from me..” By that time. The whole group of guys figured out we weren’t going to pay to play. The tone had changed and we were back on our way.
New Orleans is everything they say it is only even sketchier and dirtier in real life. Do not stand around to think about what you want to do. If you stop, you have about 30 seconds before someone will approach you and want to talk about your damn shoes. I never did find out the punch line to “Bet I know where you got your shoes.” If you blew off the hecklers firm and quick, they move on right away. Some mumble a little shit talk as they go but, who cares.